Post Bariatric Body Contouring

For many patients, losing large amounts of weight can have the unpleasant side effect of causing excess fat and skin to form over many areas of the body that are resistant to diet and exercise. Body contouring after weight loss at the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute involves a number of cosmetic procedures designed to eliminate excess skin folds and fat deposits and recontour the body. Through body lift, arm and thigh lift, and an array of other options, Dr. Jason Leedy can help you achieve the fit-looking physique you’ve been dreaming of and allow you to complete your weight loss transformation.

Deciding to have body contouring after weight loss may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. The advent of bariatric surgery programs is helping morbidly obese patients to live thinner, healthier lifestyles while providing a boost to their self-esteem. However, many patients who have lost significant amounts of weight through bariatric surgery or other means are often left with loose, overhanging skin folds in several areas of the body, including the stomach, thigh, and buttock regions, that do not respond to traditional weight loss methods. Post-bariatric body contouring from our plastic surgeon is a way of utilizing a variety of cosmetic surgery procedures, over a period of time, to eliminate excess fat and skin and provide you with the fit-looking physique you had been hoping for.

Through the care and compassion of Dr. Jason Leedy and his staff, your transition to a slimmer and healthier you can be rewarding every step of the way. If you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about body contouring after weight loss, please contact the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute today.

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Pre-Operation Planning

In order to be a candidate for post-bariatric body contouring, certain criteria must be met. Dr. Leedy requires that his patients have a stable weight for at least six months. This often means that patients are at least 18 months out from their gastric-bypass surgery. All patient comorbidities must be optimized, this means that high blood pressure, pulmonary problems, and other medical conditions must be under good control. Patients must also have realistic expectations as to what we can achieve. Every patient can review Dr. Leedy’s extensive before and after gallery in the office to see examples of what they can expect. The results are dramatic and truly complete the weight loss transformation.

There are many areas that develop rolls of excess skin, namely the torso, arms, and medial thighs. The breasts and male chest are affected as well. Since this is major surgery with real risks, Dr. Leedy limits his surgical time to around six hours in order to optimize patient safety. Operating for prolonged periods of time puts patients at risk for excessive blood loss, blood clots, and other post-operative problems. In the first operation Dr. Leedy typically performs a lower body lift. If time permits the arms can be addressed during the same operation. After adequate time for healing, usually two to three months, the medial thighs and breasts can be reshaped. By staging surgeries, patient safety is optimized and more dramatic results can be achieved.

Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Procedures

Body contouring can take your new life change several steps further with aesthetic enhancement options such as:

Lower Body Lift

By removing prominent flaps of skin, a body lift creates a more balanced and ideal contour. In fact, some of the most dramatic results in cosmetic surgery are achieved through body lift surgery. Dr. Leedy is proud to be able to offer this procedure to his patients to help them experience truly life-changing results.

Lower Body Lift Procedure

During a body lift, particular attention is given to the waist, as this area loses most of its natural shape from weight loss or pregnancy. Discreetly placed incisions are used to access and remove fat and tissue. If necessary, Dr. Leedy will strengthen the abdominal wall with sutures, which helps taper the waistline and create a firmer stomach. The skin is then drawn across the body and excess tissue is trimmed away. The lateral thighs are also treated through the removal of excess skin and fat and the tightening of remaining skin. Dr. Leedy uses extreme care when performing each procedure of body contouring after weight loss at the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute to help ensure that patients achieve the most pleasing results possible under the safest of conditions. Body lift is performed as an in-patient procedure under general anesthesia.

Lower Body Lift Recovery

Swelling in the abdomen can be expected in the first few days after a body lift, and any pain or discomfort can be controlled with medication. Following body lift surgery, patients are usually able to return to work and other activities in four to six weeks. Dr. Leedy and his staff are available to support patients throughout their recovery and address any concerns they may have. Patients should understand that body lift will produce permanent and visible scars on the back, flanks, and lower abdomen. However, Dr. Leedy takes great care in minimizing scars to make them as discreet as possible, and scars can generally be hidden by clothing or swimwear.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Sometimes, no matter how many stomach crunches we perform, loose skin resulting from weight loss and other factors can remain in the abdominal region, seemingly forever. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, tightens the underlying muscles in the abdomen and pulls the skin taut, creating a fit-looking stomach. Abdominoplasty is an extremely effective cosmetic enhancement option that can give you a remarkably improved aesthetic.

Panniculectomy

This is not considered a cosmetic procedure. Sometimes, if the extra skin in the front of the abdomen hangs over the pubic region, significant rashes can occur. If you are troubled by rashes in the fold as a result of gastric-bypass surgery, and are under the care of a physician for these rashes, then your insurance may cover you for a panniculectomy. In this surgery the extra skin that hangs over the belt line, and only that skin, is excised. This by itself is not a cosmetic procedure but it can be added to muscle tightening, additional skin excision, and repositioning of the belly button to achieve effects of an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.

Liposuction

Liposuction is a way of extracting stubborn, excess fat from virtually any area of the body. A long, metal tube, inserted into the area targeted for liposuction, works to vacuum out the fat cells and get rid of excess folds left over from massive weight loss. Dr. Jason Leedy is an experienced liposuction surgeon who is skilled at many different liposuction techniques.

Arm Lift

Massive weight loss, and even the simple process of aging, can cause the presence of loose, flabby skin in the arms, often made apparent whenever one waves hello or goodbye. In order to eliminate excess skin and fat from the upper arm, Dr. Leedy offers body contouring with the arm lift procedure. Also known as brachioplasty, an arm lift is an effective contouring method that gives the arms a slimmer, shapelier appearance. It can be performed alone or in conjunction with liposuction when more substantial amounts of fat need to be removed.

The procedure is performed by making an incision on the inside of the arm and removing excess skin and fat. Next, the skin is pulled together so that it contours more closely to the arm. The incision is then carefully closed with sutures. Scarring from the procedure is typically very discreet, and Dr. Leedy will work to make any residual scarring as light as possible.
After arm lift surgery, patients are generally able to return to work in one to two weeks. Full recovery requires two to six weeks.

Thigh Lift

This body contouring method involves making carefully placed incisions through which fat and skin are lifted off of the underlying muscles of the thighs and removed. The skin is then redraped to produce youthful, smooth contours. The scars that result from this surgery are readily concealed by most underwear and bathing suits.

A thigh lift can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures, such as a tummy tuck or liposuction, for patients who are interested in a more comprehensive body makeover. Dr. Leedy takes great satisfaction in working closely with his patients and developing personalized treatment plans to meet all of their needs and goals.

After thigh lift surgery, most patients are able to return to work in about two weeks. Recovery is aided by walking around as soon as it feels comfortable.

Adjunctive Procedures

After massive weight loss there can also be excess skin in the upper back. This often requires a separate procedure called an “Upper Body Lift” In this procedure the excess skin of the upper back is excised and the scar is placed in the bra-line.

With significant weight loss the buttock often becomes flat, despite rolls of excess skin and overall droopiness. Dr. Leedy can restore a pleasing shape to the buttock with gluteal augmentation. This procedure is performed in conjunction with a lower body lift. In gluteal augmentation the skin of the lower back which is normally excised is rotated and placed into a pocket created under the buttock skin. This procedure creates nice fullness to the buttock and restores pleasing curves that are all too often lost after weight loss.

Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight can also be troubled with excess skin in the face and neck. Dr. Leedy offers the full spectrum of facial rejuvenation procedures for improving the appearance of the face and neck.

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Risks

Body lifts and body contouring procedures are major surgeries and, although every precaution will be taken to ensure your safety at the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute, patients should always be aware of the risks. Some of the risks associated with body lift and other procedures mentioned above include:

  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Fluid collection beneath the skin
  • Asymmetry of scars (revision surgery can correct this)
  • Persistent numbness of the abdominal, thigh, or arm skin
  • Excessive bleeding

All aspects of the procedure will be discussed with you during the initial consultation. Dr. Jason Leedy is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extraordinary training and skill. He and his staff will work with you to minimize any potential complications so that you have a smooth and successful recovery.

Your Consultation for Post Bariatric Body Contouring

At the time of your consultation Dr. Leedy will review your medical history and discuss your desires and expectations. He will outline a plan to help accomplish your goals in the safest possible manner. If applicable, Dr. Leedy will provide 3D imaging to help simulate the results that are possible. You will have time to have all your questions answered. If you so desire we can arrange for a previous patient to talk to you about their experience. We approach the consultation as an opportunity to educate a patient about a procedure and you will never feel pressured or rushed to make a decision about what is right for you. All patients are provided the opportunity to return for further discussions about their procedure at no additional charge and if you decide to go forward there is always an additional consultation prior to the surgery. Educated patients are happy patients and your happiness is our only goal.

Contact Our Body Contouring Surgeon

Dr. Leedy will create a personalized treatment plan that best allows you to achieve your goals in light of your body’s condition. If you have lost a substantial amount of weight and are seeking to complete your new look through body contouring after weight loss, contact the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute to schedule a consultation and find out how Dr. Leedy can enable you to take the important final step in your personal transformation.

Financing Options

It’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but something else was always there to hold you back. Well, not anymore. We offer CareCredit, a card designed specifically for your healthcare needs. CareCredit can help you move forward with getting the procedure you’ve always wanted. With low minimum monthly payment options, no up-front costs, no prepayment penalties and no annual fees, you can get your procedure sooner.

Learn More About Your Financial Options


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